Title: Put Through the Ringer
Rating: G
Author: MacGateFan
Disclaimers: Nope, not mine.

Teyla watched as Rodney finished getting the forcefield down with a flourish. She was about to congratulate him on the short amount of time it took when John and the others came into view. She noticed that John seemed to be experiencing a great amount of pain. "They are back, Rodney," she said. "Perhaps you should check the Jumper to see that everything else is intact?"

He nodded and Teyla was grateful he didn't ask any questions. Besides he seemed as though he had been "put through the ringer" as humans would say. Once the men were close enough to her, Teyla was able to assess John's condition better. His skin seemed ashen.

"Major Sheppard, are you all right?" she asked as he and Ford set Gaul gently on the ground.

"Yeah," John said.

He immediately made himself a liar when he took a deep breath and a sharp pain pierced his chest. "Sir!" Ford exclaimed, rushing to his side.

John's heart was fluttering wildly in his chest and although he could hear Ford calling his name, he just couldn't concentrate. The pain was far too great and he felt himself slowly slipping into the world of unconsciousness.

When he next came to, he didn't feel any better. In fact he felt 100 times worse than before. He saw Teyla sitting on the bench next to him, eyes closed, but he could tell she was speaking. John was still have trouble concentrating. He felt anxious and disoriented. What the hell was going on?

"Yes, Dr. Beckett. He's awake now. One moment." Teyla took John's hand into hers. "Colonel? How are you feeling now?"

John wanted to respond, but he just couldn't. The pain was just too great. All he wanted to do was fall back asleep and wake up feeling better. Wait, now he couldn't seem to get enough air into his lungs.

"John."

Teyla's voice sounded so far away and try as he might he felt himself being pulled under again. He felt his heart skip a beat as he wondered if this would be the last time he would ever open his eyes again.

Ford glanced back at Teyla and John, then over at Rodney. "Can you make this thing go any faster?"

"Oh yes, it runs just like the Batmobile. Turbines to speed!"

"McKay!"

Rodney took a deep breath. He knew he was being rude, but that didn't matter to him right now. Two of his team members were dead and something was seriously wrong with a man he came to know as a friend. And they were still an hour from Atlantis.

"Sorry," he muttered.

Ford settled back into his seat. "It's okay, I'm worried too."

The hour seemed like days to Rodney and he sighed in relief when the planet came into view. "Atlantis this is Jumper One making our final approach," Ford said. "We read you, Jumper One,"Elizabeth replied. i"Carson and his team are waiting in the Jumper Bay."

"Understood, Ma'am."

"Carson," Elizabeth said.

The physician looked up from the lab results he was viewing. "Aye, Dr. Weir."

"How are they doing?"

"Rodney will be fine. He's just in shock, although he hasn't told me what happened on that planet. As for Major Sheppard..." Carson trailed off.

"He never does anything easy, does he?" Elizabeth asked.

Carson nodded. "No he does not. We did a scan of his chest and it revealed an aortic dissection. And yes that does sound as scary as it is. It can be life threatening. There is bleeding along the wall of the aorta. We've already begun treating him with medication. We'll continue to monitor his heart."

"Dr. Beckett."

"Yes, Jean."

"He's not responding well to the pain medication we're giving him. He says he's still in a lot of pain."

Elizabeth could see the worry in the nurse's eyes. She knew John as well as any of his team and for him to even admit he was in pain... "I'll leave you to it then, Carson. Keep me informed."

"Aye," he replied, following Jean back to John's bed. "I see you're making things difficult for us again, Colonel."

John took as deep a breath as he could manage. "Sorry, Doc."

He smiled and patted John on the shoulder. "Don't worry about it. Jean, how about we get the Colonel some morphine?"

"Right away, Dr. Beckett," she replied.

"This has to be one of the worst feelings ever," John told him. "How long does... does something like this last?"

"It can take up to two weeks to heal, Colonel. Now just relax. We're going to give you some morphine to control the pain."

John nodded, a bit stunned about having to wait two weeks. Another two weeks of being laid up. Why did he always seem to be the poster boy for serious injuries?

"Doc, I'm a little... little nervous about not being able to breath well when I'm asleep."

"Do you trust me, Colonel?"

"Yeah, Carson."

"Then don't think about it anymore. Just rest."


Rodney sank quietly into an infirmary chair next to John. It was nearly two am and he just couldn't sleep. The fact that Gaul's death kept playing over and over in his mind wasn't helping.

True, he didn't actually SEE it happen, but the memory of the gun firing, the... mess on the ground, and too many movies certainly gave him one hell of an imagination.

He knew John had done the right thing by going after the Wraith. And he knew it was the Wraith's fault that Gall and Abrams were dead, but that didn't stop him from blaming his friend at the time.

Rodney had been irrational. Once John woke up he was going to apologize for his thoughts. How can one think like that when their best friend was doing all he could to save them all? John Sheppard wasn't a god (despite what the women of this galaxy might think).

He wasn't sure how long he sat there, but John began to stir, muttering in his sleep. Rodney had to move closer just to hear what he we saying.

"No... not Rodney... RODNEY!"

Rodney grabbed John by the arms as he attempted to get up. "Sheppard! John!"

John blinked, looking up at Rodney in confusion. He was about to speak when a sharp pain emanated from his chest. Rodney looked around but did not see Carson or any one else for that matter.

"CARSON!" he exclaimed.

"Bloody hell!" the Scot said, rushing into the room. He had fallen asleep at his desk and woke up to a screaming scientist and machines beeping. "What did you do? Move out of the way, Rodney."

Rodney did as he was told. He was a bit miffed that Carson was yelling at him, though. He was also relieved that John seemed to calm down after a few minutes.

Once he was asleep again, Carson said, "Sorry for that, Rodney. He should be all right now. I gave him a sedative and promised I'd sit with him. Would you like to stay as well?"

"Um, yeah... thanks."

"Rodney, are you all right?"

Rodney wasn't one to talk about what he was feeling and when he did, he usually just bursts out the information and runs off. But this morning, he felt he needed to do more. Say more for Gaul's sake.

"I witnessed a good man kill himself, Carson." He took a breath. "It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to go through and now I'm watching my best friend struggle with this. He is going to make it, isn't he?"

Carson nodded, happy that Rodney was comfortable sharing this with him. "He'll be fine, Lad. Pretty soon we'll have to hear him whine about getting into scrubs and getting out of the infirmary."

"Sounds good to me," Rodney said with smile. "Definitely."